Jon Hickman, Benilde teacher, fired; was it for his racy photos of young women?

Hickman's photography isn't a comfortable fit with Benilde's Catholic values.
Hickman's photography isn't a comfortable fit with Benilde's Catholic values.

In a letter sent to parents this week, Benilde-St. Margaret's school president informed folks that Jon Hickman, a longtime engineering teacher at the Catholic school in St. Louis Park, had been fired.

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"I am writing to inform you that Jon Hickman, senior high engineering teacher, was dismissed from his employment at Benilde-St. Margaret's School effective September 3, 2013," the letter, written by President Bob Tift and reprinted in a KSTP report, says. "Mr. Hickman has had inappropriate communications with BSM students."

"Additionally, we understand that Mr. Hickman has had interactions with BSM students through non-teaching activities," the letter continues. "Any such activities including senior photographs or artistic modeling photographs are not connected with or endorsed by BSM."

That last sentence alludes to Hickman's side photography gig. A Facebook page for Jon Hickman Photography says, "I love to help graduates express who they are through their senior portraits."

"We are a Christ-centered photography business focused on helping students (especially high school seniors) capture the essence of their lives in photographs while preserving their God-given modesty and integrity," the Facebook bio continues.

However, some of Hickman's photos feature scantily clad young women posing suggestively. Check them out for yourself here and ask yourself -- what would Jesus think?

But if those photos are the reason for Hickman's dismissal from a school Tift describes as a "community of faith," Benilde officials won't acknowledge it. Tift has declined comment beyond his letter, since Hickman's situation is a personnel matter.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]

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